Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School is a glad and grateful recipient of a $5,000 Class Project award from the Dolan Auto Group in Reno. The money will be used to fund a brand new kiln for the school’s ceramics program.
Ceramics teacher Allison Meyer said the existing kiln was purchased when the school opened nearly 30 years ago. Those many years of use took their toll, and the kiln has had some major malfunction issues recently. Meyer said that last year, it got to the point that all the pottery created at the middle school had to be transported to Douglas High School to be fired.
Fellow teacher Jen Worthington saw the grant opportunity and took the lead in organizing the application process, which included a narrative explaining the need behind the request and a class video.
For their submission, Meyer and her students filmed a video titled, “Fired Up for Ceramics” (youtube.com/watch?v=wy0stycKke8). The video featured students speaking about the significance of the ceramics program and highlighted several positive educational impacts of the class, such as motor skills improvement, problem solving, and community connections.
Class Project applications were accepted in September followed by a two-week online voting process in October. Community members could peruse the different project videos posted to dolanautogroup.com and vote for their favorite once each day. To help generate votes, the school included a daily reminder during morning announcements that encouraged students and their families to vote and posted the voting link on the school’s website and Facebook page.
On Oct. 19, the auto group released a video announcing the winners (youtube.com/watch?v=qw2UNrSFji4).
Based upon number of votes, the top 15 class project submissions were awarded $5,000 each, and Pau-Wa-Lu came out on top with 4,166 votes.
Group representatives Brady Dolan, Ryan Dolan, and Ashton Hutton visited the school on Nov. 2 to present the award. Meyer said the students wanted to give the presenters a special welcome, and they created a thank-you banner that was signed by the ceramics students and others throughout the school.
“It was so heartwarming to see the excitement from my students the day that the DAG came to present the check,” Meyer said. “The ceramics room happens to be at the front of the school and from the window we are able to see Long Valley Road…the students patiently waited by the window and every car that drove down Long Valley urged the students to yell, ‘Dolan!’”
Meyer said about 15 cars passed before the presenters actually arrived.
“Finally, we saw a car pull up in front of the school and when I was sure that it was (them), I nodded and told my students, ‘Yes, this is Dolan!’” she said.
Meyer said the students all jumped up and down and burst from the classroom to greet their esteemed guests. Her only regret is that she didn’t capture the moment on video.
“I am so lucky to have students that are so supportive in my class,” she said, noting that those who took part in the Class Project application process will change elective classes at the end of the semester and won’t have as much opportunity to utilize the new kiln. That fact didn’t deter their inspiration to help secure funding to benefit the ceramics program and other students to come.
Meyer said that currently, one section of ceramics is offered each semester to 8th grade students. The school hopes to grow the program to offer an additional section, and the purchase of a new kiln will certainly support turning that vision into reality.
“We want to give a big thank you to Dolan Auto Group, as well as the community for voting for our project to make this happen,” Meyer said.
Lions Club selling See’s candy
Sweeten the holidays with See’s. Carson Valley Lions Club is once again offering peanut brittle, assorted milk and dark chocolates, nuts and chews, truffles, and soft centers during their annual See’s candy sale. Prices range from $9-$45, and Visa/MasterCard are accepted.
Look for the Lions’ trailer in the Frontier parking lot, 1520 Church St. in Minden. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving.
The Lions are dedicated to community service, and their fundraising efforts and projects focus on issues related to vision, hunger relief, diabetes, youth, and the environment. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. the first and third Thursday of each month at the COD Casino, 1593 Esmeralda Avenue in Minden.
Questions can be directed to Lion Ron Santi at 775-315-2354.
Amy Roby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.